Moonton

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MOONTON Games
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
Founded2015
FoundersJustin Yuan
Headquarters,
China
Key people
  • Justin Yuan (CEO)
ProductsMobile Legends: Bang Bang
Mobile Legends: Adventure
Sweet Crossing: Snake.io
Watcher of Realms
Number of employees
750[1] (2021[2])
ParentByteDance[3][4]
Websitewww.moonton.com

Shanghai Moonton Technology Co. Ltd. (Chinese: 上海沐瞳科技有限公司; pinyin: Shànghǎi mù tóng kējì yǒuxiàn gōngsī), commonly known as Moonton, is a Chinese multinational video game developer and publisher owned by the Nuverse subsidiary of ByteDance and based in Shanghai, China. It is best known for the mobile multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang released in July 2016.[5]

History[edit]

Established in 2014, MOONTON is a global video game company dedicated to gaming development, publication and esports. With more than 1600 employees worldwide, the company operates offices in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Latin America, Hong Kong and mainland China. It has successfully launched a number of high-profile mobile games globally and has built long-term relationships with governments and esports organizations in more than 30 countries around the world. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is its current star game and the leading mobile multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game worldwide.

Moonton's first video game, the tower defense (TD) game Magic Rush: Heroes, was released on 6 April 2015.[6] Mobile Legends: Bang Bang began development following the completion of Magic Rush: Heroes. Mobile Legends was released as Mobile Legends: 5v5 MOBA in 2016,[7] and became popular in Southeast Asia, notably in Indonesia and Malaysia, where it was the most-downloaded free mobile game app among iPhone users in 2017.[8][9] The game is distributed by Elex Tech in the United States.

Products[edit]

Video games[edit]

Year Title Genre(s) Platform(s)
2015 Magic Rush: Heroes Tower Defense Android, iOS
2016 Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Multiplayer online battle arena
2019 Mobile Legends: Adventure Side-scrolling role-playing
2020 Mobile Legends: Pocket N/A (Mobile Companion App)
Sweet Crossing: Snake.io Snake
2023 Watcher of Realms Role-playing game

Television series[edit]

Title Years Network
Legends of Dawn: The Sacred Stone 2021 WeTV and Iflix (International)

TV9 (Malaysia) NET. (Indonesia) Kapamilya Channel & A2Z (Philippines)

Notes[edit]

Riot Games suspected that Mobile Legends: 5v5 MOBA infringed on the intellectual property League of Legends, and demanded that Google remove the game from Google Play and App Store. Moonton removed the game before Google could act and eventually relaunched it as Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on 9 November 2016[10].[11][12] In July 2017, Riot Games filed a lawsuit against Moonton over copyright infringement, citing similarities between Magic Rush and Mobile Legends against League of Legends.[13] The case was dismissed by Central District Court of California in the United States on account of forum non-conveniens.[14]

Tencent, the parent of Riot Games, followed with a separate lawsuit in Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court against Xu Zhenhua - previously a senior Tencent employee - for violating non-competition agreements.[15] Tencent won the lawsuit in July 2018 and was awarded a settlement of $2.9 million (CN¥19.4 million).[14]

On 22 March 2021, the developer of TikTok, BABE, Resso and Lark ByteDance, through its video game subsidiary Nuverse, acquired Moonton for US$4 billion. ByteDance reportedly won over a bid from Tencent.[4][3]

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is a minor revision of Mobile Legends: 5v5 MOBA, but was considered a separate product in the 44-page lawsuit filed by Riot Games against Moonton.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About MOONTON". Moonton. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  2. ^ Moonton Games. "About Us". Retrieved 2022-11-19.
  3. ^ a b "ByteDance acquires gaming studio Moonton at around $4 billion valuation: sources". Reuters. 2021-03-22. Retrieved 2022-11-19.
  4. ^ a b "TikTok's parent company ByteDance acquired Mobile Legends developer Moonton". Mobile Gaming Hub. 2021-03-22. Retrieved 2022-11-19.
  5. ^ Sheany (2018-11-09). "Game Developers Should Focus on Each Country's Unique : Moonton Chief Executive". Jakarta Globe. Nusa Dua. Retrieved 2022-11-19.
  6. ^ "Yuan Jing, founder of Mutong Technology, interprets "Endless Showdown": From a loss of 300,000 US dollars in one day's promotion fee to becoming an Indonesian national mobile game".
  7. ^ "Riot Games suing Chinese developer behind League of Legends clone". GamesIndustry.biz. 2017-07-12. Retrieved 2022-11-19.
  8. ^ Harris, Iain. "Moonton's popular MOBA Mobile Legends plunders $200m in global revenues". pocketgamer.biz. Retrieved 2022-11-19.
  9. ^ Ismail, Izwan (2017-12-07). "Here is Apple's list of top apps in Southeast Asia for 2017". Retrieved 2022-11-19.
  10. ^ "Riot Games sues mobile game developer for copyright infringement". RAPPLER. 2017-07-11. Retrieved 2022-11-19.
  11. ^ "Riot Games sues developers of Mobile Legends". Rappler. 2017-07-11.
  12. ^ "Riot Games files lawsuit against League of Legends knocked-off". GGWP. 2017-07-11.
  13. ^ "Riot sues Mobile Legends's developers". 2017-07-11.
  14. ^ a b Mickunas, Aaron (2018-07-18). "Riot Games parent Tencent wins $2.9 million in lawsuit against Moonton CEO". Dot Esports. Retrieved 2022-11-19.
  15. ^ "Tencent case and risks in non-compete commitments". Vantage Asia. 2018-12-21. Retrieved 2022-11-19.
  16. ^ Massaad, Jay (2017-07-11). "Riot Games targets supposed League of Legends knockoffs in lawsuit". Esports Insider. Retrieved 2022-11-19.